It’s been an interesting few weeks for deathcore. With other acts in the scene taking enormous leaps away from the tried and tested sound with varied results, focus now turns to stalwarts Emmure. Can they deliver something more more consistent after a lineup change that left vocalist Frankie Palmeri as the sole original member? On paper, this would seem like no easy feat.
With such a simplistic approach, emulating the band’s sound might be easy. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone could do what Emmure do so well. So, when it was announced late last year that Joshua Travis (the mastermind behind The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza) and members of his other project The Glass Cloud would be filling in the gaps, it seemed like a sensible move by Palmeri.
Just as much a fan of beatdowns and whammy pedal abuse his predecessors, Travis’s ear for building-shattering groove dominates this record. Particularly on the stupidly groovy ‘Shinjuku Masterlord’. The album’s best moment however is new single ‘Flag Of The Beast’ – complete with a spooky, Korn-esque lead, this track simply crushes.
Even with Travis and co. doing a fine job instrumentally, what makes this so overridingly an Emmure album is Frankie Palmeri’s vocal and lyrical approach. Just as angsty and antagonistic as he’s ever been (he really doesn’t give a fuck what you think, guys), his screams and growls are convincing, but his occasional forays into rap leave a lot to be desired.
Despite overstaying its welcome a little, ‘Look At Yourself’ is completely uncompromising in giving Emmure fans exactly what they want. But anyone looking for more than this might be disappointed. However, with a musician as formidable as Joshua Travis in the band, it’s clear that Emmure can, and, building on such a one dimensional approach here, probably should expand their sound on future releases.
‘Look At Yourself’ by Emmure is out released on March 3rd on SharpTone Records.
Words by Josh Graham (@jollyboyjosh_)